The proactive approach to energy saving

Breaking down your energy usage and monitoring power consumption is now essential if we are to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions. James Hart of CP Northern explains why a proactive approach to this will reap rewards.

There is a lot of pressure on companies to reduce their carbon emissions both to reduce energy costs and because Government legislation now requires all commercial and residential properties which are sold, built or leased, to make available an energy performance certificate to prospective purchasers or tenants. If a company has already implemented the ‘quick wins’, many are left looking for new ways to achieve the savings.

In many cases this can be an uphill struggle and whilst everyone is aware that the savings must be made, it can be difficult to assess exactly where those savings should come from. In addition, because there are so many new energy saving products on the market it can be hard work to pin point the products which will work best for your building.

The ability to make an informed decision relating to the energy efficiency of a building based on the current and likely on- going costs is a very good place to start because it is only by knowing what you use and where you use it that you can start to achieve savings.

Real time monitoring

Our own experience of the requirements of the market has led to the launch of our Energy Monitoring Division which allows us to make available to the market a range of simple to use and more importantly accurate energy monitoring products which include distribution board sub-meters, smart meters, pulse meters, current clamps, plug-in smart meters, energy controllers, switches and sensors. The range also includes CP Energy Manager which is a powerful software suite that works in conjunction with the range of products to provide real time (and customisable) displays of energy usage and energy mapping along with costs and CO2 emissions.

As far as energy consumption is concerned, knowing how much energy you use in each piece of equipment is one of the most important pieces of information at your disposal. For example, by knowing how much energy the photo copier consumes and more importantly at what times of day, you can evaluate where savings can be made because it may highlight that it is being left switched on all night – wasting valuable energy.

CP Energy Manager is available for use as a Windows based programme or online via the CP Energy website and gives you access to this type of information. It can be used to break down your energy data and monitor the efficiency of a single piece of equipment, or to assess the cost of running the air conditioning or lighting across an entire site.

Be proactive

This essentially gives you all of the information which you need at your fingertips. But having the information at your fingertips and doing something with it are two very different things, which is why a proactive approach is essential.

The industry as a whole has certainly become more energy savvy but there remains a vast number of companies who still fail to properly understand their energy usage and put the necessary measures into place which will help them to maximise efficiency and achieve savings.

This is one of the areas that we are taking a proactive approach through our remote monitoring service which allows us to monitor your entire site in real time and then suggest areas for improvement. For example, if the monitoring shows that your lighting costs are disproportionately high then we can recommend a controls strategy and products which will ensure that lights are not left on when everyone has left the building and as a result achieve the necessary savings.

Real targets

Energy Performance Certificates are just one of the drivers for achieving energy efficiency, but ultimately everyone wants to save money so whether it is as a result of Government or internal pressure, the need to reduce the amount of energy used and therefore cost is a very real and neccessary target.

Taking a proactive approach is therefore the way forward, but where time is limited (as everyone’s generally is) it is important to get that information and act on it in the most efficient way possible. The integration of energy monitoring in real time with simple to use control packages provides the solution and because we have the ability to monitor usage on your behalf it ensures that any inefficiency does not go unnoticed. So perhaps it is time to take a fresh look at your building – you may be wasting more than you think.

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